Cocaine: Addiction, Side Effects and Treatment

All these factors contribute to a more durable and thus simultaneously more dangerous stimulation [24,123,152]. One recent study attempted to establish a relationship between blood concentrations of cocaine and CE and the severity of clinical manifestations among individuals laxative abuse hospitalised due to cocaine intoxication [153]. Using it increases your risk of serious and sometimes life-threatening medical conditions like heart attack, stroke and drug overdose. Cocaine use disorder (addiction) can affect your personal relationships.

  1. Cocaine addiction is a complex disease, with physical, mental, social, environmental, and familial factors.
  2. Derived from the South American coca plant, cocaine causes feelings of happiness, energy and wakefulness.
  3. When she’s not holed-up in her writing shed researching an article or off interviewing health professionals, she can be found frolicking around her beach town with husband and dogs in tow or splashing about the lake trying to master the stand-up paddle board.
  4. Then they limit follow-up outpatient visits in a way that would be unacceptable for any other disease.
  5. The high from cocaine is short-lived and makes an individual feel extremely good before it wears off, at which point intense drug cravings begin, as does depression and an increasing inability to experience pleasure without drugs.

Men died of overdose at 2-3 times greater a rate than women in the U.S. in 2020-2021

People who are addicted may eventually prefer taking cocaine to any other activity. Their lifestyles may alter completely as the dilaudid hydromorphone injection side effects addiction takes hold. As the medical profession came to realize that cocaine was addictive, safer anesthetics were developed.

The Facts about Cocaine Addiction

One other way of consuming coca leaves is through the brewing of teas. Jenkins et al. reported that tea bags containing an average of 4.86 mg (leaves from Bolivia) and 5.11 mg (leaves from Peru) of cocaine per bag, when brewed, produced teas with 4.29 mg and 4.14 mg of cocaine, respectively [58]. The physical treatment starts with clearing the toxic effects of cocaine from the body, known as detoxification or “detox.” In order to successfully manage cocaine withdrawal symptoms, supervised medical detox is recommended. The risk of returning to use increases during this time as the body attempts to rebalance. Attending drug rehab provides support and resources during the recovery process. Pure cocaine is a flakey white powder derived from the coca plant of South America.

Crack Cocaine

During this time, a person might feel depressed or suicidal, anxious, paranoid or psychotic, and crave more of the drug. After prolonged use, individuals can become tolerant to the effects and “binge”—taking more and more of the substance to keep the high going—for hours or even days. An in-depth look at the signs and symptoms of cocaine addiction, how to get help for your loved one, and what treatment options are… Pharmacological and behavioral treatments are the most effective options for cocaine addiction. Outpatient treatment, inpatient treatment, medications, therapy, or a combination of different treatment programs can help you recover from addiction. People with cocaine use disorder may benefit from community-based programs.

How Do People Use Cocaine?

This website is using a security service to protect itself from online attacks. There are several actions that could trigger this block including submitting a certain word or phrase, a SQL command or malformed data. The FDA urges the public to avoid all products containing tianeptine, especially if they claim to treat a disorder or ailment and regardless of whether you are addicted to the drug or not. From 2000 to 2017, 217 tianeptine exposures were documented, with 75 reported in the South, 54 in the West, 47 in the Midwest and 41 in the Northeast, according to the CDC. An unapproved drug is making its way across the United States, feeding the addiction it claims to help and wreaking havoc in its wake. See our Reader Submissions Guide and then email the My Turn team at

While cocaine and crack cocaine highs are brief, the drug may stay in your system for up to three days. For example, cocaine acts by binding to the dopamine transporter, 10 ways to control high blood pressure without medication blocking the removal of dopamine from the synapse. Dopamine then accumulates in the synapse to produce an amplified signal to the receiving neurons.

The literature reports on numerous mechanisms to explain the toxicity of cocaine at the cardiovascular level. Moreover, the induced increase of endothelin-1 (a vasoconstrictor) and reduction in the production of nitric oxide (a vasodilator) creates an imbalance that favours vasoconstriction [96]. Consequently, oxygen supply to tissues decreases, with myocardial ischemia and acute myocardial infarction as possible outcome (Figure 5) [97,98].

It raises levels of dopamine, a neurotransmitter linked to pleasure, movement, and the brain’s reward circuit. At the same time, you might develop what’s called sensitization to the drug. That means it takes less of it to cause negative effects like anxiety and convulsions. If you keep using cocaine, your brain’s circuits become more sensitive. Your brain may become less responsive to other natural rewards, such as food and relationships. Along with the physical risks, cocaine use can affect your life in other ways.

Two medicines currently marketed for other conditions, topiramate and modafinil, have shown promise. Additionally, baclofen, a GABA-B agonist, has shown promise in a subgroup of cocaine addicts with heavy use patterns. Antidepressant drugs are of some benefit with regard to mood changes experienced during the early stages of cocaine abuse.

Cocaine is a naturally occurring alkaloid that can be extracted from its botanical source and formulated into cocaine hydrochloride or ‘crack cocaine’. Cocaine induces its main psychoactive effects by impeding monoamine reuptake. The drug impacts several organs, such as the heart; brain; liver; kidneys; lungs; and has complex underlying mechanisms of toxicity that are herein described. A severe cocaine intoxication can result in a fatal outcome if not given the necessary medical treatment [157]. Given the ever-present risk of cardiorespiratory arrest, monitoring vital signs is extremely important, and cardiorespiratory resuscitation should be performed as soon as necessary. If this fails, the administration of vasopressin is recommended (this therapeutic option has demonstrated greater effectiveness than epinephrine, the first-line drug for cardiac resuscitation) [158,159].

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